Ghosts of blogs past MATTHEW SWEET’S GIRLFRIEND ALBUM
Another great archeological find:
Current mood: crappy
When I found this cd today at the used cd store I was ecstatic. I had wanted to make this the next cd I prattled on about and stumbling upon it was pure serendipity. I havent heard this album in at least 3 years so I cant wait to listen to it. This album came out in 1990 so I was about 16 or so when I came out, thought the time in my life I associate with is was the summer and first couple of years after I finished high school. In a fair world this guy would have sold out arenas instead of being mostly unknown, he still produces albums and is mostly working as a producer now, he was also involved in the musical direction of the Austin powers movies, but frankly as great as his songs (also hes a great player he did all the bass, rhythm guitar and most of the drums as well as all of the vocals-he brought in a handful of other musicians for lead guitar and drum tracks) were he was held back by the fact that he was a kind of chubby guy and therefore hard to market—I can relate to thatlaughs so here you go one of my favorite albums I hope you will enjoy it.
TRACK 1 :DIVINE INTERVENTION, this song really sets the stage for the album. A great raw telecaster tone and 3 or for really catchy hooks before the vocals come in. It makes me think of listening to the album in my first car, which was an olive green dodge Aries with one gold door, driving very very early to school my first semester in college. One of the things I like about this album is it is almost a textbook on how to write songs. Frank blacks teenager of the year is like that as well (when I get that cd again Ill be writing about that one as well). The album also has a great retro-timeless quality that makes it just as good now 16 years lateroh god I just realized this album is 16 years oldand I remember it when it was newI feel oldlaugh it reminds me of rubber soul era Beatles a bit.
TRACK 2 IVE BEEN WAITING this is one of the sweetest, most perfect, pop love songs Ive ever heard. A song I could never write because I dont think I could go 3 minutes and 36 seconds without saying something cynical or throwing in a joke. At the same time I think we have all felt the same way as the narrator of the song, young optimistic and in love the only way you can be in love when youre in your late teens. The arrangement makes me think of roger mcguinn of the Byrds and lots of great late 60s pop acts. I will defend pop as a genre, because it has such a great scope, however most of it is sheer utter garbage, acts like Matthew sweet make pop something other than a dirty word. Its fun and bouncy.
TRACK 3: GIRLFRIEND this is the first Matthew sweet song I ever heard, it is also his biggest hit. I fell in love with the song and it always makes me excited when I hear it. Again using the textbook metaphor its lesson is how to turn a good song into a great one with a great guitar part. Richard Lloyd of under ground and influential late 60s band television does those great guitar tracks in the background as well as the solo. Its another driving down the highway sing along songs. I have to do this live with Gregg sometime. It makes me think of summer as well as going to school with my best friends when we all were in Broward Community College together. Good times. I also absolutely love the end of this song.
TRACK: 4 LOOKING AT THE SUN another great and innocent love song. I am an absolute sucker for the chorus in this song, another one to sing along with even when you cant rememember the lyrics. I used to sing along to this in my room of my parents old house while doing homework and that. Again I love everything about this song, something that is especially good to listen to now that Im trying to concentrate on doing more songwriting. The bass line is also great, simple and it really drives the beat without getting overly busy, it really lets the song breathe.
TRACK 5: WINONA a great tear jerking country feel love song. I love the bareness and honesty of the vocals. Its like how love or attraction really is not so exaggerated like in so many songs. This makes me think of when I was a painfully shy awkward teen, nervous around girls and hopelessly romanticok not all that much has changedlaugh it is a delightfully sad song, by the end of it you really want this guy to get the girl, I also love the line could you be my little movie star. Its just a great line. Its like the secret ballad of every nice guy who never gets the girl hes after Again, it makes me think of who I was 16 years ago.
TRACK 6: EVANGELINE heres a song that really goes out to the comic book geek in me. Matthew Sweet is a huge comic book fan and wrote this song about the obscure comic book character Evangeline from first comics. You dont need to be a comic book dork to love this song but he gets extra cool points from me for thatlaugh. This is a fun song with great production. The guitar solo as well really makes the song so interesting. It just showcases the craftsmanship of his songwriting and production skills like the rest of this album. This is one of the albums I can listen to over and over again. There is something just very satisfying about it to me.
TRACK 7: DAY FOR NIGHT here is where he gets all-dramatic. Ive decided that I want to do a version of this song so I could really belt out the vocals. Its like an old Etta James song, but more psychedelic and mellow. Im singing along as I write this because I cant resist. Definitely this is one of my favorite songs on the album. I also love how much feeling is in this song.
TRACK 8: THOUGHT I KNEW YOU Im a sucker for a false start introlaugh. This has a great flamenco feel. It really stands out on the album stylistically. Great lyrics as always, very clear, clever and creative.
TRACK 9: YOU DONT LOVE ME this song is so sad. This is one of those soundtracks to getting dumped by a lover, and makes me think of one particularly embarrassing moment many years ago, very very drunk on very very cheap whiskeysobbing Im so glad Im not young anymorelaugh.. A great song. The pedal steel really makes a huge difference on the emotional impact of this track.
TRACK 10: I WANTED TO TELL YOU luckily Matthew sweet goes to a more lighthearted rock song before his listeners slit their wristslaugh yet another great pop chorus.
TRACK 11: DONT GO I love the intro to this. This is such a passionate song, again very singable, very memorable and possessing more of those very realistic, emotional lyrics that really hold my attention and engage me as a listener.
TRACK 12: YOUR SWEET VOICE a country feel again permeates this track, but it defiately works. Somewhat trancelike vocals, very sweet. It makes me think of one particular girl I dated (again a very long time ago) and cuddling with her on a cold night under a macramé blanket while watching old movies. The window was open and I remember feeling the cold air on my face and on my feet even though I was wearing socks. It was one of the first times I ever really held a girl, so its a memory that is a sentimental oneI havent thought about that in ages it makes me think of how shy and lonely I was back then, but not in a bad way.
TRACK 13: DOES SHE TALK good album pacing saves the day once again. A great rock and roll song delivered with a delightful swagger in the vocals. I love the line did she lick your palm to tell you your fortune tonight. Its such a visual, interesting and sexy line in the middle of the song. The textbook lesson here, is how to have a rolling stones style swagger in a song.
TRACK 14: HOLY WAR this continues the more rocking feel of the last song. It makes me think of catching great local shows in the early 90s when there were actually a bunch of great local bands in ft Lauderdale at the time I was probably in one of the worse ones; but I was learning. Great intelligent lyrics, topical without becoming era specific, a good song plain and simple.
TRACK 15: NOTHING LASTS break out the tissues again here is another sad sad songlaugh I love the delicacy of the song. The delivery of the vocals shows such vulnerability, which is something I find rather courageous. I also love how sparse the arrangement is. Definitely something to learn from since I have an occasional tendency to over embellish.
Well that was Matthew sweets girlfriend album. I hope you liked it.
Thanks for listening